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that is very critical that the assad regime is not getting ready to use chemical weapons in syria, and here's why. because the question we're asking is how real is the threat? not just for syrians, but for the region, because once you start using chemical weapons, loaded in warheads, you are looking at death tolls in the thousands, possibly in the tens of thousands also threatening neighboring countries. syria is geographically very central in the region. now, here are some of the reasons why syria and the assad regime might not be considering the use of chemical weapons. first, the two masters of the assad regime. iran and russia are against it. the regime of bashir aul awes youred would be taking huge risks if it started threatening the syrian population and surrounding countries with these types of weapons. also, there's a military reason why it would not necessarily make sense for bashir al assad to use chemical weapons. this, by the way, is the kind of analysis i've seen as well in other publications. chemical weapons would be difficult to deploy against a guerrilla force. why? because
carefully. the u.s. is updating its military plans against syria as new intelligence shows assad's regime is loading sarin gas into bombs. and president obama's pot problem. let's go "outfront." >>> i'm tom foreman in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the magic number after a whole week of harsh words here in washington and threats too, did house speaker john boehner hint ever so slightly at a compromise today that could finally edge us away from the dreaded fiscal cliff? it comes down to tax rates. this is a huge sticking point in the stalled negotiations between the president and mr. boehner. obama says the top rate on household income above $250,000 should rise from 35% to 39.6%. boehner wants the rate to stay at 35% or even lower. but what about meeting in the middle? around 37%? listen carefully to the speaker when he was asked today whether that rate could be the answer to this impasse. >> there are a lot of things that are possible. to put the revenue the president seeks on the table. but none of it's going to be possible if the president insists on his position. insists on my
. can the world prevent bashar al assad from using chemical weapons against his own people? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >>> we begin with president obama taking his battle to extend tax cuts for the middle class into the heart of the middle class suburb today. he visited a family just outside washington, d.c., using their story to dramatize what will happen in just 26 days if he and congress can't make a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff. a source of great concern for so many people, everyone's taxes will go up, will go up if there's no deal. let's go live to our white house correspondent dan lothian. he's on the scene for us over at the white house. how did it go, dan? >> reporter: well, wolf, we've seen the president do this before in the past whenever he's locked in negotiations with lawmakers. he heads out on the road, either goes to a backyard or sits down around a dinner table to put pressure on congress. that's what he did today when he went to falls church sitting down with the santana family. their parents who also are employed live in the household wi
of the radical rebel groups in syria fighting the bashar al assad government a foreign terrorist organization. our arwa damon is inside syria right now. we're going to get her reaction. that's in the next hour. >>> also, if secretary of state hillary clinton runs for president, is it game over for the republicans chances in 2016? a former republican presidential candidate has a scary prediction for his own party. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with ou
's what's going on right now. president obama no longer sees bashar al assad as the real representative of the syrian people. the rebels fighting to throw overthrow assad are legitimate enough and organized enough to act as a bonafide government. several recognize the opposition fighters as the people's true representatives. >> the syrian opposition coalition is inclusive enough and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people in opposition to the assad regime. >> we want to bring in holly from cnn international. what does that mean exactly when he's recognizing now the opposition as the true, legitimate representatives of the people who are there? >> essentially, it's what he said. al assad is not the representative of the syrian people. the u.s. and other than western countries have called on bashar al assad to step down. concretely it is a diplomatic move. it was expected. what it doesn't change and this is what the rebels and the opposition want is whether or not they get more money and more arms. they're say
regime bases across syria, many thinking the end of assad is nearer than ever. why has the united states, who also want assad gone, black listed them as terrorists? >> we've had concerns that al nusra is little more than a front for al qaeda in iraq who has moved some of its operations into syria. >> reporter: that link clear in the document filed monday, al nusra deemed not a new group, another name for al qaeda in iraq. u.s. officials believing insurgents who kill americans in iraq fighting for rebels against assad. this move may make sense in principle but, say experts now, less so in practice. >> this creates confusing picture for the syrians because nusra is the hardest hitting group among the rebels. u.s. wants to take down assad but at the same time cutting the rebels off at the knee. it doesn't make sense. >> the group should be considered a terrorist organization based on the fact that there are allegedly connections with al qaeda in iraq. the long term after the regime does fall, i do think it will provide an opening since most of the rebels, while respect nusra doesn't believe
weapons situation, the fear that perhaps bashar al assad might actually use chemical weapons on his own people now being exacerbated on a report that perhaps the blame is coming back to us and the accusation from the syrians that we're trying to actually get a hold of those chemical weapons and make it look like the syrian regime has done so. fareed zakari's back with us to talk about this report. it seems as though this is rather serious. only the government, assad's administration has sent a couple of letters to the u.n. suggesting this is all a big plot by the u.s. to get those weapons into the hands of opposition members and then blame the syrians. does this seem logical or like a reach? >> i think it's part of a strategy that the assad regime has decided upon, which is that america is the cause of this. that there is an internal group of terrorists supported by the united states and saudi arabia, so this is part of what the syrians are doing. it's a last ditch effort. i don't think anyone in syria believes it. there's zero chance that the united states is doipg anything like this.
them. the assad regime denies having chemical weapons and claims the reports are being used to justify an international invasion. after more than 20 months of fighting and more than 40,000 civilian deaths, syria's civil war appears to be at a cross roads. the fear of sarin gas is very real tonight. what are people there facing if the assad regime does use what they have or believe to have. i spoke with cnn contributor, former cia officer bob baer and dr. sanjay gupta. we talked about this last night, but explain again what one warhead filled with sarin could do. >> one of these shells and the standard shell the syrians put this in is a 122 millimeter shell, a standard artillery piece. if they were to drop this into a dense area, into damascus or a suburb of homs, it doesn't matter which town, it will instantly kill 18,000 within the first few minutes. >> from one shell? >> one single shell would immediately kill 18,000 people. you know, this is a liquid. it's dispersed. it sticks on you. you get a few -- a little bit in your system, and you're dead. >> sanjay, what does it do to somebo
to bashar al assad reach into their arsenal for more deadly weapons. even scud missile. officials say assad has between 3 and 400 of those short and medium-range missiles in his stockpile. the regime forces launched a scud from the suburbs of damascus. >> if this proves to be true, it's another indication of the deparagraph tea of assad and his crohn knees. >> once more, the forces last week started using what's called barrel bombs. >> it contains flammable materials. it's sort of a napalm and it's very, very concerning and indicative of the regime's brutality. >> human rights groups say it causes extremely painful burns, often down to the bone, burns that are often hard to treat. this comes after signs that an increasingly desperate assad is moving closer to using chemical weapons. chemical weapons plus scud missiles would be a lethal combination. >> if you were to marry up a chem kabl warhead on to the scud, you now have an area denial weapon system which is very nasty. it affects everybody. it doesn't discriminate from friend or foe. >> one means of stopping scuds, patriot air defense sy
, why are there so many concerns? not just because people are worried what bashar al assad might do with these chemical weapon stockpiles, as there have been for months, but more as rebels are advancing on damascus and the battling are getting more heated and pitched around the capital, there are concerns that if damascus were to fall, what would happen to chemical weapon stockpiles? could they get into the hands of groups that are fighting with syrian rebels? a big concern, and we've heard more calls from the u.s. administration, warning that bashar al assad if we were to utilize chemical weapons against the population of syria, that would be a clear red line, they would face consequences. we must add one more thing, that the syrian regime has repeatedly said, including today, they have no intention of utilizing chemical weapons against syrian. >> mohammed jamjoom for us this morning, thanks for the update. >>> let's turn right to zoraida sambolin. she's got a look at the rest of the day's top stories. >> good morning to you. breaking the ice, president obama and john byron finally
to president bashir al assad are preparing bombs with chemical weapons. syrian soldiers fighting with rebels for control over the outskirts of damascus. now, witnesses tell cnn that 30 people were killed today in street battles across syria. we're also learning about a car bombing in the city of homs and a horrible, horrible discovery. dozens of bodies believed to be victims of a massacre. the same time rebel fighters, they are taking on syrian forces literally house to house in the country's largest city. that is aleppo, and that is where we find our arwa damon today. >> reporter: for two months the streets here have been a war zone. part of a bigger battle for control of aleppo, syria's largest city. this father of four is one of the rebel fighters here. this is our country, our homes that are being destroyed, he tells us. he used to sell thread. now he runs logistics for his unit. so what he is explaining to us is that this was street to street fighting, and it took his unit quite some time to advance and right now they have the tractor here because they're trying to clear out this road s
a clear message to syrian president bashar al assad, saying the u.s. now recognizes the rebel coalition fighting against assad's crumbling regime, the president made that declaration in an interview with abc's barbara walters. >> the syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people in opposition to the assad regime. >> keep in mind here, what he just said, that doesn't mean that the u.s. will be arming the rebel forces. the declaration is just intended to be a showing of support. but all of this comes one day after a group of rebel fighters called the al nursa front are labeled a terrorist organizat n organization. some say this latest flurry of diplomacy was triggered by the threat that assad would use chemical weapons against his own people. cnn's arwa damon is in aleppo and has been trying to get close to this plant, believed to be one of syria's largest chemical weapons factories. watch this. >> reporter: in most of these villages, we don't d
developments this morning in syria as well. increasing the fear that bashar al assad's embattled regime may be preparing to use chemical weapons against its opponents. nbc news reports that syria's military loaded the component chemical for the deadly nerve gas cerron into bombs that could be used in fighter jets. they reported that syrian forces started combining chemical that could be used to make that gas for weapons. >>> here at home, big news in the state of washington. it's the first state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. voters approved a ballot initiative last month making it legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. the new law took effect at midnight and people marked the occasion with a pot party at seattle space needle overnight. it's not a blanket license to smoke pot anywhere anytime. cnn's miguel marquez has been up all night, live in seattle for us. so it's not illegal to smoke marijuana but the whole distribution network of marijuana and the distribution and sale of marijuana is still illegal. there's a big asterisk here for recrea
there, bashar al assad. the group is called al nusra front. yes, we did speak of them yesterday. the analysts are saying these fighters have succeeded where others have failed because of their tactics. suicide attacks, car bombs, and just their real grittiness in their organization. but the united states says this group is a direct offshoot of al qaeda in iraq and that some of its fighters may have killed americans in the iraq war. >> we've had concerns that al nusra is little more than a front for al qaeda in iraq, who has moved some of its operations into syria. >> the u.s. administration's main concern is that al nusra could end up as the dominant rebel group fighting in syria and maybe the dominant leadership if and when president assad is defeated. and apparently as a result, the state department has now decided to designate al nusra as officially a terror organization, and that makes it illegal for americans to give that group money or training or weapons. it's a very odd position to be in, given that we are helping the opposition, at least so far, with some of the trainin
group said the take-over was a major blow to the assad regime because this was the last military base west of aleppo city still under army control. they say a political solution is still possible, even though the situation he says is bad and getting worse. his comments follow the weekend talks in gentlemeva with russia well as u.s. officials. >>> egypt's president has begin the army authority to arrest people and protect government buildings as the nation is preparing to vote in weekend on a controversial draft constitution. what is happening in cairo? protestors and supporters of the president have been camped out around the palace for days. opposition groups are calling for nationwide protest this is week leading up to saturday's vote. president morsi's chief of staff blames the uprising on a small but powerful group of business and media elites. he tells cnn that the vote the on the country's constitution will not be held up. >> the question of delays the vote for the constitution is it not possible. if the people in the streets believe they command the majority, why don't they go
from the president, secretary of defense panetta, and others focusing on what happens if assad uses those weapons. >> these lines become pink lines, and they're not drawn with, you know, a fine pencil, and they move around a little. >> military options for striking syria spell out the case for why an attack might be called for. u.s. officials say there are multiple reports, more than just satellite imagery, confirming the aerial bombs. the regime is getting more desperate in recent days as fighting has raged around damascus, leading to worries al assad could order a deadly strike that could kill thousands. and unlike iraq before the u.s. war, syria's chemical weapons program is openly acknowledged by that government. >> these weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the syrian republic. >> but the president will be warned of risks, civilians could be killed by a deadly release of gas if the sarin isn't all destroyed. syrian air defenses could bring down u.s. pilots if fighter jets are used. the regime could move its chemical weapons
, a group of syrian rebels helping the fight overthrow bashar al assad is about to be declared a terrorist organization. u.s. government documents indicate the radical group, known as the al nursa front has ties to al qaeda. they'll be labeled as terrorists tomorrow. the same rebel fighters are believed to be playing a part in the iraqi insurgency. these documents show that secretary of state hillary clinton signed these papers making the declaration official, back on the 20th of last month. much more on this story out of syria next hour. >>> an american doctor kidnapped in afghanistan and what happens next involves around the clock negotiations and a dramatic act of courage by s.e.a.l. team six. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. the death of a pop star. ♪ a picture shows what happened moments before jenni rivera's plane crashed. plus, boys disappear from a reform school and are never heard from again. >> these are children who came here and died for one reason or another and quite literally have been lost in the woods. >> the answers may lie in this cemetery. and one governor floatin
. but bashar al assad continues to deny pressure. reports say they are preparing chemical weapons components that might be used against rebel forces inside syria. chad sweet is the former director of operations with the cia, the former chief of staff with the department of homeland security. it's nice to have you with us. i should appreciate it. so the signs that i have just mentioned and kind of listed there are very ominous. not just for folks here in the united states who worry about the role of the united states, but also for people in the region and outside the region too. does this mean that we have operatives who are filling us in on what's happening with the chemical weapons components and the degree to which they are being put on to these war heads? >> it's highly likely that the combination of sources have provided this intelligence. some of it is coming from human intelligence from our spies as well as allies of the saudis and the turkish intelligence. but the bottom line is it's coming from a variety of technical means. signal intelligence. the signs are pointing towards some typ
more mercy than the assad regime. he adds bitterly. now he's using his training and weapons design that he got in libya. this amount combined with another substance is what he uses to make a single grenade. when it comes to making the prop pell lants for a rocket, it's around 20 times this amount and two more substances are included. he now works alone after his assistant was killed while they were experimenting. he's designed crude but effective grenades and his biggest accomplishment, a sleek looking rocket which he claims has a rage of 12 kilometers. much of what he uses comes from unexploded order nants like this and clearly marked on this rocket, made in russia. when he first started, he tells us, he would modify exploded rockets. from here to here, for example, it's our adjustment as are the fins, he says. we would shoot one and it would just go three kilometers or it would turn back around in our direction. now he designs from scratch. mixing a substance he won't reveal but that it's imported from outside with the explosive he extracts from the government's artillery. he may
believes that bashar al-assad got the message about using chemical weapons on rebels. >> we believe he's gotten the message. it's clear that the opposition continues to make gains in syria. our concern is if they feel like the regime is threatened with collapse, that they might resort to these kinds of weapons. >> the syrians have been loading rockets with deadly sirin gas that they could use against rebels. >>> the brother of mexican american singing sensation jenni rivera is not giving up hope she is still alive. >> in our eyes we have faith my sister will be okay. we have no confirmation of her body being recovered dead or alive. >> rivera's private jet went outside monterrey, mexico. she and six other people on board are believed to be dead. her mangled driver's license and clothing were found at the crash site. no bodies recovered. >>> senator john mccain wants a seat on the foreign relations committee after the new year, setting up a showdown with susan rice. it overseas the state department. if susan rice is nominated to be secretary of state, mccain would be in a position to qu
to the assad regime. >> the u.s. joins britain, france and turkey in recognizing the syrian opposition. >>> michigan the cradle of the organized labor movement, is now a right to work state. last night michigan governor ri rick snyder kept his word and signed the bill into law despite thousands of protesters. >> this is an area where obviously people disagree but i'm confident this is in the best interest of michiganers. this will lead to more and better jobs. >> the legislation means public and private sector workers in michigan will not have to join a union or pay union dues if they choose not to. >>> hugo chavez is recovering from six hours of surgery in cuba this morning, this is the fourth cancer-related operation for the venezuelan president since the summer of 2011. his vice president tells the people of venezuela the procedure on chavez was complex but completed successfully and correctly. >>> close encounter of the asteroid kind. two ast roits buzzed earth, one of them passing inside the earth's orbit. one came been 140,000 miles of our planet. the cool part it caused an eclip
to the assad regime. >> the u.s. joins britain, france and turkey in recognizing the syrian opposition. >>> hu go chavez is recovering from cancer surgery in cuba this morning. the operation lasted more than six hours and was completed correctly and successfully. this is the fourth cancer related surgery since summer of 2011. >>> at least four homes destroyed by a gas line explosion. this is just north of charleston, west virginia. a local station reporting five other homes were damaged, as well. that fire so intense it damaged apinterstate. several people were treated for smoke inhalation. west virginia's governor says no deaths have been reported. >>> so did you feel it? turns out we got a cosmic close shave. two asteroids buzzed earth, one passing inside the monday's orbit. in nasa says it came within 145,000 miles of our planet. that's pretty close. here's the cool part. it called an eclipse only visible to astronomers. this is the scary part. it was only discovered a couple days ago. there are apparently like thousands of these that come in and out, but had it hit earth, it could have cau
Search Results 0 to 29 of about 30 (some duplicates have been removed)